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Monday, August 16, 2010

About Dhyana - Meditation

Meditation is a concentration practice that will lead us into a state of stillness or oneness. It is letting go of the identification with the body and the mind. It is going beyond the mind and stand as a witness towards the mind itself. It is non-attachment and observe the reality or the truth as it is. It is a process of slowing down the thought waves and stilling the mind, to quiet the mind. It is a purification process. It is direct experience of non-duality. When the mind is quiet and still, wisdom will arise.

Meditation is happening continuously through out every moment in us whether we are awake or asleep. We are aware of all our thoughts, actions and speech. We are aware of the present moment, from moment to moment and not lost in our own restless minds and the random thoughts.

For some people who have a subtler mind will also have a higher sensitivity in their senses reception, their minds might be able to perceive some extraordinary perception of subtler forms of sounds, colours, lights, smells, tastes, feelings and sensations while during the practice of meditation, in dreams or even at the time when they are not meditating. Their minds are also more imaginative and creative. Some unusual thoughts will appear on the surface of the conscious mind especially when they try to go deeper into their mind to explore the subtler state of the mind through the practice of meditation. This subtle state of mind is also impermanent.

Sometimes the mind is sharper and sometimes it is less sharp. The state of deep concentration of the mind can lead us to the subtler state of the mind and thus allow us to perceive certain subtle forms that we can’t perceive through our gross mind. When there is mind, there is perception of names and forms. When there is no mind (beyond the mind), there is no perception of names and forms (gross, subtle, and subtlest). It makes no difference if we are still within the mind perceiving either the gross forms, the subtle forms or the subtlest forms. We shouldn’t be attached to any of them.

If we are disturbed by all these subtle forms and become unhappy in daily life then there is no meaning for us to go deeper into the mind. But if we can be firm and strong, undisturbed by all these subtle forms and remain equanomous towards all gross and subtle experiences, then going deeper into the mind can help us to purify the mind and reach the higher consciousness and be liberated from the suffering that derives from birth and death.

This ability to experience subtle forms is not dangerous nor is it superhuman ability. It can be a problem or as an obstacle in the path towards self-realization if the practitioner doesn’t know how to not attach to all these subtler phenomena and is identified with whatever they perceive within the mind through the senses. If we truly know who we really are and are identified ourselves as we are, that we are not the mind and are distinct from the mind, then whatever the perceptions that come from the mind cannot affect us nor do they have any meaning at all.

Any names and forms (colours, lights, shapes, sights, sounds, smells, tastes, thoughts, feelings and sensations) that we can perceive or experience, are still something that exist within the mind and comes from the mind. Beyond the mind, there are no names, no forms, no shapes, no colours, no sights, no sounds, no smells, no tastes, no touch, no feelings, no sensations, no thoughts. There are no differences between gross forms and subtle forms because they are just different levels forms that are being perceived by the different levels consciousness of the mind, unless we can go beyond the mind perception.

And thus whatever that we experience or perceive during meditation, we should not attach to it and just be as a witness towards all these phenomena of colours, lights, sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations, feelings and thoughts. These subtle forms spring out from the subconscious mind and the unconscious mind when we stop generating reactions at the gross level or when the mind is calmed and concentrated. They derive from all the inputs and experiences that we had been receiving and went through in the past since the very beginning of the existence of the mind and life. They are our past accumulated memories, imaginations, desires, cravings, aversions, fear, worry, and all the other inputs that we received through the senses consciously and unconsciously every moment whether we are awake or asleep.

There are lots of subtle forms that are always there arising and passing away, but we cannot perceive them through our gross mind. When we do consistant regular sadhana purifying the mind, it will become more refine and subtler. And thus it begins to perceive certain subtle forms that it couldn’t perceive in the past before.

All these subtle phenomena is always there within and without our body. It is nothing special. Just by being able to perceive all these subtle forms cannot give us liberation from birth and death or be free from unhappiness. Just like being able to stand on the head or being very good at physical performances do not determine whether we will be at peace and are happy in life. That’s why no matter how incredible or extravagance are the subtle forms that we perceive or experience while we practice intense yoga sadhana or meditation, we should know that it is just another play of the mind perception and we should not attach to them at all.

But all these subtle forms that spring out from the subconscious mind and unconscious mind are the subtle forms of our existing karma that we accumulated through our past thoughts, actions and speech. When they ripen, they will manifest as gross forms in our life existence as actual events and experiences. They might be happy seeds, unhappy seeds or neutral seeds that bring us happy feelings, unhappy feelings or neutral feelings. And so, it is a good thing when we start to perceive all these subtle forms of karma manifestation before they actually ripen and manifest as real events and experiences in our lives, provided that we know how to stand as a witness towards all these subtle forms and not generate any reactions (craving and aversion) towards all these subtle forms, allowing them to arise and passing away. This will help us to burn off the karma even before they manifest in our lives as actual events. Eventually this is a very effective and good purification process for us to clean up our past accumulated karma from our thoughts, actions and speech that we generated every moment.

The key to our liberation from ignorance and all kinds of suffering is to stand as a witness towards everything that we come in contact with, all that we experience, and whatever we perceive with the mind (the practice of non-attachment, acceptance and letting go).

And so, it doesn’t matter if we can only perceive gross forms or if we can perceive subtle forms, it makes no differences if we attach to them and generate more reactions of craving and aversion.

A person who knows what is non-attachment is free from all forms of irritations and frustrations, being free from fear and worry, while enjoying everything in his life as it comes and as it is. While a person who doesn’t know what is non-attachment is always being disturbed and affected by all the happenings in his life and getting excited and upset most of the time, swaying from happiness to unhappiness and vice versa, being over-powered by his own craving and aversion endlessly and helplessly. Even though if we try to be good and do good, and want to attain true happiness in life and are looking for a way out from miseries, we will still be caught up in whatever we perceive in the mind if we do not know what is non-attachment and letting go.

Simplicity, appreciation, gratitude, adjustment, adaptation, accommodation, acceptance, patience, forgiveness, courage, self-control, self-independence, self-discipline, cheerfulness, positive thinking, loving kindness, selflessness, purity of thoughts; actions and speech, non-attachment and letting go (compassion and wisdom is the essence in all these qualities) are the qualities that will bring us true happiness disregard how is the situation and condition in our lives and in the world that we live in.

If we are endowed with all these qualities and are transcended all the names and forms of good and bad, happiness and unhappiness, it really doesn’t matter if we can liberate ourselves from the world of birth and death, names and forms in this life existence, because the world is not a suffering place nor a happy place when we had gone beyond craving and aversion, gone beyond the mind and the body, gone beyond happiness and unhappiness, become ego-less and are at peace in our hearts while being in this world. This peacefulness is due to we can accept the reality as it is, and not being affected or disturbed by all the experiences being in the world. We don’t need to getaway from suffering or unhappiness if we know non-attachment, because there is no suffering or unhappiness if we know non-attachment. When there is no suffering, unhappiness or misery, there is no need to look for a way out.

The truth will reveal itself to us if we can accept the reality as it is without any craving and aversion. When we have pain in the body or in the mind, just being aware of it without generating aversion and this pain will disappear sooner or later. When we have good feeling or pleasant sensation in the body or in the mind, just being aware of it without generating craving and this good feeling will disappear sooner or later. And if we are not being affected by these changes of impermanence, we will be at peace. Pain, decaying, weakening, aging and death will always be there. Suffering occurs only when we cannot accept this reality of impermanence as it is and trying to runaway or to escape from all these natural phenomena. If we can accept the reality as it is, then there is no suffering.

There’s no meaning if we say that we sit still for many hours practicing meditation everyday, but in daily life, we have no control over our own minds, actions and speech, and are in misery all the time.

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